Chile by Road

I have got to go back for a moment to an older article that I just re-discovered from last year in theThe LA Times. This one takes us along the long, stretchy spine of chile, one of my favorite countires. The road trip mentioned, here is, IMHO, one of the best there is in the world, because it takes us along Chile’s entire length. That is saying a lot, by the way. Chile is one damn long country, some 4000 miles. I’ve seen Chile from top to bottom, but my trips were all broken up and often I went by bus or plane to places like Atacama or Punta Arenas. But the idea of doing the country’s string bean geography – from tip to tip – has immense appeal. And that is exactly what Dan Neil does in this fine article in the LA Times.

It is more that just the length of Chile that amazes. It is also the incredible change in topography, climate and culture from top to bottom. And the writer here, who pilots a Land Rover LR3 down Chile’s unfathomable expanse, doesn’t seem quite prepared for what Chile has to offer. Neil is driving the LR3 as part of the Land Rover’s G4 Challenge program, an extreme-sports competition I’ve never heard of, but which I would gladly sign up for in a heartbeat. Along the way, he sees many of Chile’s greatest sights: the Martian-like beauty of the high desert and the vast loveliness of the South. He also meets a somewhat unfriendly Carabinieri, and loses his driving partner who can’t hack the drive. A fun piece. Highly recommended.